Nancy Binay hits gossip, fake news about new Senate building

Nancy Binay hits gossip, fake news about new Senate building

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 05:37 PM June 10, 2024

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Nancy Binay took a swipe at Senate President Francis “Chiz” Escudero on Monday for supposedly getting his information about the New Senate Building (NSB) project from gossipmongers.

Binay previously headed the Senate committee on accounts, which is in charge of the Senate’s budget, expenses, audit, and other fiscal activities.

“Naghihintay po lamang ako na ako’y ipatawag (I’m just waiting to be called). If there are questions and some clarifications, or things that need to be verified or validated, or to check if some information are indeed factual or simply intended to sow misinformation and spread falsehoods — I am just a call or text away,” she said in a statement.


“Kung sana ay nakapag-usap kami ni SP (Senate president), mas malinaw at factual info ang maibibigay ko, kaysa umasa s’ya sa mga marites at mga bubuyog na bumubulong-bulong,” she added.


(If only SP and I had talked, I could have provided clearer and more factual information, instead of him relying on “marites” and those who spread rumors.)

Marites is a Filipino slang for gossipmongers.

Her remarks were in response to Escudero’s decision to stop the construction of the new Senate home in Taguig City, pending a review by the committee on accounts now headed by Senator Alan Peter Cayetano.

READ: Escudero wants P23 billion budget new Senate building reviewed

His decision was made after receiving a detailed report from Cayetano which supposedly showed a “dramatic increase” in the project’s budget from an initial P8.9 billion to a projected P23.3 billion.

“At nung nakita ko ito, medyo nagulantang, nagulat at hindi ko inaasahan na ganun kalaki aabutin ng gagastusin para sa ating magiging bagong tahanan,” the new Senate chief said.


(And when I saw this, I was shocked and surprised, as I did not expect our new home to cost so much.)

But Binay said she was also shocked at where Escudero got his information.

“Sadly, kung noong una pa man sana ay nagkaroon ng time si SP na magtanong at alamin ang tungkol sa construction developments, sana’y mas naliwanagan siya at nakapagbigay s’ya ng inputs at suggestions kung paano mas makakatipid at ‘di maantala ang paglipat ng Senado sa bagong gusali,” she said.

(Sadly, if only SP had taken the time to ask and learn about the construction developments from the beginning, he would have been better informed and could have provided input and suggestions on how to save costs and avoid delays in the Senate’s move to the new building.)

Binay believes Escudero had also been made aware of the project costs since he was part of the 17th Congress when the project was conceptualized.

She also recalled that during Senate floor discussions in February 2019, then accounts panel chairman, former Senator Panfilo Lacson, made it clear that the approved Multi-year Obligation Authority for the NSB is P8.9B.

The budget, she said, covers the “core and shell of the four-tower NSB — and the interior and fit-outs are entirely separate.”

“Eto na naman po tayo tungkol sa parking. Meron pong three-level basement parking ang Senate building sa Taguig. Fake news po ‘yung walang parking,” Binay said.

(Here we go again about the parking. The Senate building in Taguig has a three-level basement parking. It’s fake news that there is no parking.)

In his speech after the flag-raising ceremony in the Senate this Monday morning, Escudero mentioned that the new building has no or little parking space.

Even when she was at the helm of the committee on accounts, Binay pointed out that they sent official invitations to all senators for ocular inspections and one-on-one briefings about the progress, status, timelines, and other updates about the new building.

“I understand that the Senate president meant well in reviewing the budget for the New Senate Building, pero sana madaliin nila ang review (but I hope they expedite the review),” she said.

“We want to avoid any unnecessary expense brought by the delay,” she went on.

The senator added there is a “sense of urgency” to complete the construction by 2025, saying that further delays would mean cost adjustments, additional charges, penalties, and another round of rental fees.

The Senate is currently renting a space inside the Government Service Insurance System complex in Pasay City.

“The Senate cannot afford any setback because each day of delay has cost implications — I agree with SP that we need to look for ways to bring the costs down,” Binay said.

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NOTE: The English translations in the article were AI-generated.

TAGS: Binay, Escudero, Senate

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